Tuesday 18th May 2021

Ruggedised router for vehicles introduced with advanced IoT connectivity and edge computing

Published on April 9th, 2021

Cradlepoint, a provider in cloud-delivered LTE and 5G wireless network edge solutions, has announced its new R1900 Ruggedised 5G Edge Router. This is powered by a Cradlepoint NetCloud subscription service that includes cloud-delivered software, endpoints, training, and support.

The R1900 router is optimised for in-vehicle networks and offers superior ruggedness, performance, security, connectivity, and utility in a purpose built, compact design. Again, Cradlepoint sets the bar for 5G wireless edge solutions.

The R1900, the product to utilise Cradlepoint’s second-generation 5G architecture, supports nationwide coverage (low-band) and capacity (mid-band) networks at speeds up to 1Gbps as well as gigabit LTE. Powered by the Cradlepoint NetCloud Service, the R1900 delivers full 5G performance, enterprise-class security and SASE support, IoT connectivity with Bluetooth, and edge computing for Microsoft Azure IoT Central or AWS Greengrass environments.

According to a recent IDC report, the market for enterprise LTE and 5G routers is exploding and forecast to reach close to $3B (€2.52B) by 2024. As 5G proliferates, enterprise and public sector organisations will take advantage of secure and fibre-fast 5G mobile networks to enable immersive applications for field force productivity and enhanced customer experiences.

Cradlepoint is a mover in the ‘5G for Business’ market, shipping the enterprise-class 5G product back in June 2020. The R1900 is the product to launch using its second-generation 5G architecture most network vendors have not shipped their first 5G product.

The company’s early 5G and long-standing mobile and IoT experience helped create a global mobile platform that supports the fibre-fast speeds and breadth of use cases enabled by 5G worldwide.

James Bristow

“While others view 5G as a simple add-on to existing products, Cradlepoint has taken a clean-sheet-of-paper approach with the R1900,” states James Bristow, SVP EMEA at Cradlepoint.

“5G is more than just a faster pipe it enables transformative applications that help mobile workforces be safer and more productive while delivering better customer experiences.

However, achieving these benefits requires a 5G mobile router that is up to the task from a reliability, performance, connectivity, security, and edge computing standpoint, and the R1900 with NetCloud delivers on all of these attributes.”

Big connectivity in a small footprint

The IP64-rated R1900 provides wireless and wired connections in a rugged, compact design with optimal port placement to ease installations in even the tightest spots:

  • WAN: 5G and LTE (CAT20), wireline (via gigabit Ethernet), and a dual modem option
  • LAN: Simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi 6 (2×2) and 4 gigabit Ethernet ports
  • BLE: Long-range, low-power Bluetooth 5.1 to support IoT connectivity
  • GPS: Discrete GNSS location with dead reckoning
  • WIRED: RS232, USB, and GPIO ports for serial and ODB-II connections

Expandable connectivity via managed accessory docks

The R1900 will come with several Managed Accessories to expand connections options (sold separately). They will include a 4-port gigabit Ethernet switch with POE (RX30-POE) and a second modular modem (RX30-MC) for redundant cellular connections. These optional accessories fit the same compact footprint of the R1900 and are installable at any time.

Enabling location-based visibility and applications

The R1900 provides precision GPS with dead-reckoning and OBD-II integration. It automatically uploads location and telematics data to NetCloud Manager and back-office applications, such as fleet management and computer-aided dispatch (CAD).

Using location-based services within NetCloud Manager, admins can easily track and trace vehicle locations and routes in real-time and determine LTE and 5G cellular coverage over a traveled area. Additionally, NetCloud Manager offers pre-built connectors that share location data with popular fleet management solutions, providing more flexibility to customers than a one-size-fits-all approach.

Application resiliency and control with mobile SD-WAN

Mobile is a demanding environment for ensuring application performance. Vehicles, such as patrol cars or municipal buses, are constantly driving in and out of LTE and 5G cellular coverage and Wi-Fi zones affecting available WAN bandwidth.

Cradlepoint NetCloud for Mobile provides non-stop availability and control of application performance, whether uploading video via Wi-Fi in a garage or parking lot or transitioning between LTE and 5G coverage on the road. Features like mobile SD-WAN and intelligent connection manager policies allow precise control of applications over the multiple wireless and wired WAN links.

Nationwide public safety networks

With over 4,500 public safety agencies as customers worldwide, Cradlepoint is committed to the public safety community. The R1900 design will support all nationwide public safety networks on both LTE and 5G, such as AT&T FirstNet and Verizon Frontline in the US and the Emergency Services Network (ESN) in the UK.

Unified edge security gets SASE

The growing number of mobile endpoints creates a bigger attack surface and more security challenges for enterprise and public sector IT organisations. Cradlepoint NetCloud provides an enterprise-class, unified edge security solution for in-vehicle networks with end-to-end encryption and threat detection and defence functionality to enable secure direct cloud and internet access for applications and IoT devices.

Additionally, Cradlepoint rebehly announced a technology partnership with Palo Alto Networks for integration with its Prisma Access product, which lets customers deploy cloud-based Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) with just a few clicks. Using NetCloud Manager, an organisation can centrally monitor and manage its entire mobile security posture in real-time.

Mobile edge computing, the other MEC

When it comes to edge computing, mobile can be challenging. Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) architectures are optimised for fixed locations, not for roaming vehicles that are always on the move. Cradlepoint NetCloud provides a flexible edge computing environment that includes an SDK for python-based application development and onboard containers with Edge Connectors to Microsoft Azure IoT Central and AWS Greengrass.

Ken Rehbehn

The R1900 with NetCloud delivers the low latency, local processing, and data-offload benefits of edge computing for vehicles on the move.

“Mobile applications and use cases serving the requirements of public safety and enterprise organisations continue to expand, forcing an embrace of high-performance 5G mobile broadband services and edge computing,” states Ken Rehbehn, senior principal analyst at OMDIA.

“In-vehicle routers, such as Cradlepoint’s R1900, provide an ideal platform for tying remote workers to rich 5G-enabled cloud applications that boost mission capabilities, helping save lives and reduce property damage.”

The new Cradlepoint R1900 5G Ruggedised Edge Router is orderable for a May 2021 shipment.

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